Stone Fruit Seeds – Are They Really Poisonous?
Picture this – it’s Sunday evening and you have a delicious smoothie in front of you. You’re relishing the taste of every bite when suddenly, ouch, you chew on something hard. Oh no! It’s a seed you missed removing. That actually happens to a lot of people a lot of times, especially when the fruit involved is as tiny as a cherry.
Although chewing a fruit seed may seem pretty harmless, you should know that it can cause you more trouble than just a weird taste in your mouth and light pain in your jaw. And that’s what we’re here to apprise you of. Stay tuned ‘coz you’re going to find this quite informative.
Let’s start with what happens when you swallow a fruit pit
Some of us don’t like wasting anything in the kitchen. No, no, don’t jump to conclusions; we do remove the pits from cherries, but the syrup from the cherry pits is too delicious to discard, isn’t it? So would it really harm the body if we just sucked on it a bit?
Well actually, as long as the pit stays in your mouth it should be okay. But if you accidentally chew and swallow it, you could be in severe danger. The pits from fruits like cherries, apricots, plump, and peaches have a compound named amygdalin, which breaks into hydrogen cyanide when ingested. And you know what cyanide is, right?
So, does that mean fruits with stony pits shouldn’t be consumed?
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), it’s ok to swallow raw whole pits, even purposefully. The research proves that a 150-pound man can, without any harm, swallow 703 milligrams of pits daily.
Starting with cherries, 200 cherry seeds, i.e. one ounce, has 117 milligrams of hydrogen cyanide. In apricot and peach, the amount is slightly higher with apricot having 432 milligrams and peach having 203 milligrams of these substances. So you can pretty well do the math.
The Food Safety Hazard Guidebook states that hydrogen cyanide doesn’t really survive cooking since it isn’t a substance that can stay stable when exposed to high heat. Now that explains all the calls for roasted stone fruit pits!
But come to think of it, the whole idea is really confusing. Though research proves the existence of hydrogen cyanide in the pits of stone fruits, NIH states that in certain measures it can’t harm. Well if you ask us, it’s probably wiser to not consume stone fruit pits for safety’s sake. Don’t you think?
The Bottom Line
If you’re stressed out from accidentally swallowing a fruit seed or pit, you can relax. Find some respite in the fact that it won’t immediately end your life. And irrespective of how delicious you think the fruit juice wrapped around the pit is, remind yourself of the danger you could get into if that little stone made its way into your intestine.
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